Computerworld Names Dimitris Agrafiotis of Covance a 2017 Premier 100 Technology Leader

Agrafiotis’ Leadership in Bringing Xcellerate® Informatics to Market Demonstrates How Software Can Improve Health and Improve Lives

IDG’s Computerworld recently recognized Dimitris Agrafiotis, PhD, chief data officer and Computerworld Dimitris Agrafiotis head of technology products for Covance Drug Development, as a 2017 Premier 100 Technology Leaders honoree. This year’s Premier 100 spotlights 100 leaders from both the technology and business sides of companies for their exceptional technology leadership and innovative approaches to business challenges. Covance is the drug development business of LabCorp.

“The Premier 100 awards program highlights the exceptional work of an elite group of IT executives who are leading their organizations through times of unprecedented change. They are using technology to drive high-stakes business projects and create dynamic growth in their organizations,” said Scot Finnie, editor in chief of Computerworld.

“These 100 men and women are not only strategic business thinkers, but also team leaders who recognize the importance of recruiting and retaining the brightest talent to enable digital transformation and harness the opportunities of cloud, big data, mobile and social. We’re pleased to recognize their leadership and honor their achievements.” Continue reading

Strategic Alliance with Global Specimen Solutions: Introducing Covance SpecimINSIGHT™

The complexity of clinical trials continues to rise. New biomarkers for safety and efficacy continue to emerge, and new types of information – such as genomic profiles – have become critical to submissions for drug approval. Against this dynamic backdrop the Global Specimen Solutions Logocentral challenge facing trial sponsors remains the same: the need to bring together diverse data sets, draw meaningful insights from them and act quickly to maximize return on investment.

Covance and Global Specimen Solutions, Inc. (GSS) have announced a five-year strategic alliance that gives Covance clients access to a comprehensive and integrated solution that includes GlobalCODE®, snapTRACKTM and GSS wraparound services. This will enable near real-time data cleaning across clinical trial data sources which allow interventions to be made during the clinical trial, impacting overall trial execution and data validity. This also allows cross-protocol, cross-program analytics which provide context for data results, assuring robust clinical trial design and operational excellence. Continue reading

TQT Waivers: One Year Later

Overcoming Design Challenges

ICH E14 REGULATORY GUIDANCE 2005 AND 2015

It has been one year since the International Conference on Harmonisation (ICH) rp_Covance-Labs-Safety-Pills-300x200.jpgupdated its 2005 cardiac safety guidelines. The 2015 update allows for specific QT interval analysis based upon concentration effect modeling up to supratherapeutic during Phase I as a reasonable substitute for a Thorough-QT (TQT) dedicated trial.  These Phase I data along with preclinical results are submitted to the FDA prior to Phase III as a waiver request from a separate TQT study. This is good news! A dedicated TQT study involving time-wise comparisons of baseline corrected data is an expensive and lengthy endeavor. It typically takes place after proof of concept but before Phase III. Collection of QT information during an existing Phase I study costs substantially less and can provide go/no-go decisions much earlier. Continue reading

Shape New Career Possibilities at Covance

With unique career opportunities to advance the future of drug development, Covance employees are part of an exciting journey, delivering novel and comprehensive solutions to advance medicines from early research to clinical trials and beyond.

What does it mean to work with a company that not only invests in you, but carries the vision of creating a healthier future? See how Covance enables Extraordinary Paths, Exceptional People.

To learn more about how you can make a difference in drug development and to explore Covance career opportunities, please visit careers.covance.com Continue reading

The Importance of Stakeholder Research in Rare Disease Drug Development

The approval of novel orphan drug designations continues to grow, while many existing rare disease therapies are receiving approval for expanded indications. With this increase Rare Disease Drug Developmentand broadening class of products, including some that target the same mutation or molecular defect, sponsors face new and significant market access challenges in securing reimbursement.

Leading manufacturers increasingly employ stakeholder research early in development to better identify the needs of patients and providers. This strategy can build in compelling asset value during development, help avoid pitfalls and better inform go/no-go decisions earlier to avoid costly development delays or even dead-ends. Continue reading

The Next Frontier for Cancer Immunotherapy Trials

With its measurable impact on patient survival, there’s no denying that immunotherapy is Cancer Immunotherapy Trialsalready causing momentum in ways that cancer is treated. Drug researchers and developers are identifying new candidates in their growing pipelines and exploring combinations of immunotherapies, while regulatory agencies are providing expedited review and approval of these therapies for new indications at an unprecedented rate.

With checkpoint inhibitors from ipilimumab (Yervoy®) to nivolumab (Opdivo®) to pembrolizumab (Keytruda®) to the most recently approved atezolizumab (TecentriqTM), each breakthrough has provided new insights on how the immune system can be activated and manipulated to fight a variety of cancers. Continue reading

The Development Landscape for Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis

The Development Landscape for Non-Alcoholic SteatohepatitisThe Development Landscape for Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis Q&A

Q&A with Claudia Filozof, MD, PhD, Senior Medical Director in the Phase II-IV Cardiovascular/Metabolic Group and Richard Williams, PhD, JD, Executive Strategist,  Global Regulatory Affairs

Is this a good time to develop a NASH drug, and if so, why?

Claudia: Yes, it’s a very good time. There are multiple companies starting NASH development, and there is a huge unmet medical need with no treatment approved so far. Health authorities also have shown a lot of interest in supporting companies to speed up development. If you have the right compound, there are multiple advantages to starting a NASH program.

Richard: The cost to society will be enormous if we can’t treat this disease. I think most pharmaceutical companies, big and small, see this as a substantial unmet medical need. With this unmet medical need,  regulatory agencies can grant  conditional approval (accelerated approval in the US), where the drug is approved for marketing with the condition that the company later shows it has a clinical benefit based on clinical  outcomes. Continue reading

Understanding 505(b)(2): An Abbreviated Pathway for Modified Drugs

Among the regulatory pathways for small molecule drugs in the United States, the 505(b)(2) option occupies a middle ground. Intended for modifications of an existing505(b)(2): An Abbreviated Pathway for Modified Drugs Covance Blog treatment, it requires much more evidence than a generic but allows the sponsor to use data from a previous application. Companies can thus avoid unnecessarily repeating studies and shorten their development time.

At a recent Covance clinical seminar in Shanghai, attendees learned about the intricacies of 505(b)(2), the corresponding hybrid medicinal product pathway in the European Union and the differences from applications for biosimilars or generics. Developers in the Asia Pacific region are eager to better understand this topic because the Chinese pharmaceutical industry is developing rapidly with support from the government. “They view 505(b)(2) as a potentially faster way to market,” said Eric Lang, MD, Vice President and Global Head of Clinical Drug Development Leaders, Early Phase Development Solutions. To succeed, however, sponsors will need to consult with experts who can help them develop a regulatory strategy and consider market access issues as well. Continue reading

Leveraging Big Data to Improve Clinical Trial Performance

As any drug developer knows, clinical trials generate a lot of raw and electronic data from Leveraging Big Data to Improve Clinical Trial Performance Covance Chinamultiple sources. Yet tracking progress and reviewing results from each separate database can be cumbersome in traditional environments. This “rear-view” mirror approach to monitoring doesn’t support preventative planning to mitigate future risks and can account for 20-30% of a trial’s costs.

Recognizing the opportunity increase efficiency and deliver information faster, Covance created Xcellerate® Monitoring, a platform that integrates clinical trial data to help sponsors proactively decrease the inherent risks associated with clinical trials.

At a recent clinical seminar in China, Dimitris Agrafiotis, PhD, Vice President, Chief Data Officer discussed how Xcellerate Monitoring tracks quality, patient safety and protocol compliance in clinical trials. Continue reading

Maximizing the Value of a Product: A Perspective from China

Drug Development Market Access Covance Shanghai at night, ChinaDrug development in China is progressing quickly, due in part to shifting regulations, increased innovation and growing opportunities for global partnerships. However, making the most of market opportunities requires not only a focus on the intended end results but also careful, early phase planning. At a recent clinical seminar in China, a panel of Covance market access experts shared their thoughts on how to increase a product’s commercial potential.

Incorporating a business case

“In China, we discussed the theme of ‘beginning with the end in mind,’” said Eric Lang, MD, Vice President and Global Head of Clinical Development Leaders, Early Phase Development Solutions. “We find that a lot of biopharmaceuticals are focused more on the science of their treatment and don’t realize that they also need a strong business case to develop a product,” he said. Continue reading